Seriously, stop it now. It was cute for a while, but now this heatwave is beginning to crawl inside my very soul, making me slower and lazier by the minute. Yesterday, I had to leave the tube at Charing Cross and have a little Agua Fresca at Lupita before I could see straight again.
- This has been a largely liquid week, partly to keep us all hydrated, but also in honour of The Resident Vegetarian’s birthday. To celebrate, we had a splendid dinner at Locanda Locatelli, with passion fruit Bellini and mint limoncello to kick off the evening, a sommelier that read our tastes and pockets like a clairvoyant, and the bliss that is functioning air conditioning. Of course I was incapable of considering any other starter after spotting calf’s foot salad on the menu. It was a wise choice. The
combination of tangy and bitter leaves broke the richness of the tiny and delicious gelatinous meat cubes, and then came the deep fried slices of more sweet calf, which I believe were put there purely to make me happy. Amazing, but rather a generous portion, which, along with my earlier binge at the grissini and the bread basket, prevented me from eating more than a fraction of the lobster linguine. And that worked very well: I am tucking into the linguine leftovers as I type this! Birthday boy had what he claims is the best burrata of his life, then ravioli filled with red onions, topped with salted buffala ricotta and a chianti reduction. Hardly summery, but still light and there was not a molecule of it left on the plate. Sadly, I had to pass on dessert, but we still got a Happy Birthday plate of Locatelli’s famous and unforgattable amaretti biscuits. Light and moist and tender and very, very good. Happy birthday, Salad Man!
- Next day, we visited South London’s latest pop up darlings, Van Dough pizza, who ran Catford’s new monthly supper club, at the unlikely location of Catford Broadway, right by the South Circular. We like to call it edgy. Cocooned inside a massive white tent, with very attentive service, cool bossa nova on the speakers and a flow of Brockley’s Micro Brewery‘s drinks, we quickly forgot the less than glamorous surroundings. If you don’t know Van Dough, you’ll be amazed to learn that their perfect pizzas come out of a wooden fire oven … inside a van! Yes, it is a mobile pizza van. I had had their pizzas before, and they’re consistently beautiful. The mozzarella, funghi and garlic seemed to be the chosen winner that night. What came as an added bonus was the stellar chocolate pecan pie. They were concerned that the hot weather had made the filling too soft, but for me it was the perfect consistency, not to mention the rich, top quality chocolate. It was very smooth, on the right side of gooey, with the slightest crunch of pecans when you bit into it. A great evening. My only tiny suggestion would be to include the humble (and in my opinion, the queen of pizzas) Margherita on the menu. But then again, they would have made it if only I had asked. They were happy to oblige when the vegan lady next to me asked for a tomato and garlic pizza.
- On one of the hottest nights all I could come up with was potato salad, to which I added some roasted beetroots and rosemary, a couple of soft eggs, then sour cream and parsley. Very refreshing with some rocket on the side. No recipe today, but I recommend a go at this salad as a cold dinner.
- To crown the end of the week, I met Mr Hither Green Wine Club at the Catford Bridge Tavern for a double mission: a) to toast the fact that we sold out the 30 tickets for the inaugural Green Door Supper Club!, and b) to go over the menu for the millionth time and make sure our shopping and To-Do lists are even longer now. Only a week to go and the excitement is making me louder and louder!
- And a final thing: if you’d like to try my cherry brioche and butter pudding, you can select it from the 20 entries that made it to Food 52’s Community Pick on their latest contest pages. Just click on Test This Recipe. Very happy at seeing my dessert up there!
I hope you’re having cool and wonderful weekends.